3 things to know about the Red Kettle Campaign

HANCOCK COUNTY — The Hancock County Salvation Army announced it collected more than $42,000 during the 2014 holiday season. The donations are used to fund programs across Hancock County, including helping residents in need of emergency financial assistance.

1. A holiday tradition

The Red Kettle Campaign began in the 1890s in California and quickly spread across the country, according to the Salvation Army’s website. The effort has grown into a holiday tradition and now can be found in Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries, the website states.

Bell-ringers from the Salvation Army Indiana Division are stationed at more than 140 locations each year, seeking donations from shoppers and passers-by.

2. Local funds for local causes

The Red Kettle campaign is the only fundraiser the Hancock County Salvation Army conducts each year, and the money raised in Hancock County stays in Hancock County.

Seventy percent of the donations are used to assist individuals and families in financial emergencies. Another 20 percent is used to fund local nursing home programs, children’s summer camps and school supplies distributions.

3. Drop in donations

Red Kettle campaigns are traditionally effective, organizers say, but this year’s effort was down by roughly 10 percent, reflecting a drop in donations statewide. By comparison, roughly $46,500 was raised in Hancock County in 2013. Residents can still make donations to the organization by calling 326-4662.

Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.